Attention Fox News viewers: From YOUR Founding Fathers – Lose Your Freedoms, Lose Your Liberty

Everything quoted in this post has been cross-checked and one of those citations is EITHER in parenthesis OR the entire quote is a multi-cited search result.

We all know the genesis of our Constitution. We know what brought our Founding Fathers over the pond, and we know they wanted to make certain the colonies had a different political, economic, and social framework and a different version of liberty.

The Bill of Rights they crafted is a rather crucial part of that goal. Oddly enough, it is even more important in 2017 than it was then. They were protecting us. From whom? From what? Well, listen to them.

For example, when we do not have the Freedoms of Speech AND the Press, we face a fear of dear Patrick…

(Patrick Henry) The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. The most iniquitous plots may be carried on against their liberty and happiness. (

Losing those freedoms might allow one group to destroy our liberty and happiness. Scary. But, hey…Patty was an anti-federalist. Those guys were always paranoid. Or…?

(James Madison) The accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. (

Nope. JimMadDog would have had FEDERALIST4EVER tattooed on his bicep, if possible. He was neither an anti-federalist nor was he paranoid. Neither was Patty. None of them were.

Without enumerating the freedoms we should enjoy, they would have left us susceptible to losing…

(Benjamin Franklin) Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. (

Liberty. That is right. Without those freedoms, we would lose liberty. So, that is what they were protecting us from, my fellow Americans. They did not want us to lose our very liberty. Liberty – freedom from the control of a despot, tyrant, madman, etc. Imagine for one moment what they were trying to do. Now, read this: and this:

I tried to find coverage on Fox News. There was very little. This is the coverage: Notice certain words like “claiming.” It’s sort of like being pregnant – you are or you aren’t. They were barred. I suppose there are arguments regarding “why,” but is that the point?

This is our national warning sign. These articles are our “rising sea level.” We still have time.

But, not much. Because, in short, here is what happens in the immortal words of our Founding Fathers when we don’t keep our eye on the liberty ball:

Patrick Henry – Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. (

James Wilson – Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness. (

John Madison – But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it. (

Don’t lose focus.

International cooperation on data protection, a shoe, and a W.C. Fields quote that’s not his

As I started today’s research (further examples of successful cooperation by international organizations), I face planted on the table at Underwood. No, it’s not because I’m exhausted, though the “Seasoned Traveler” set of luggage under my eyes would beg to differ.

As an American, writing in 2017, how do I encourage anyone to do anything about an issue as important as data protection? My country is truly, I don’t care for all the PC-commentary about how we’re a “work in progress,” a mess. We are a great nation. But, just like any Real Housewife on Bravo, we are both great and a mess.

We cannot tie our collective shoe without focusing on 45’s false Tweet about it, the media’s inflated reaction to the lie/Tweet, a further fact check on the Tweet, a week’s worth of 45’s lackeys discussing the alternative facts of the Tweet, Sunday morning talk shows deciphering Morse Code from Russian spies about the Tweet, questions regarding whether or not the world needs Twitter, Congressional aides demanding the US live Tweet during TTIP negotiations…remember the shoe?

It needs to be tied. And, I’m not proud of this, the US can be the first country to a) distract IOs from the shoe and b) burn the shoe to avoid compromising on how to tie it. Problem there? You step on glass, have no shoe, and you bleed. A lot.

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit” used to be a clever quote by W.C. Fields, right? No and no. First, it’s not just a clever quote now, it’s used to wash away sins and make a joke about things like a presidential administration. But, more importantly, it’s not even a W.C. Fields quote and that’s not the quote. “Well, if I can’t dazzle them with my brilliance, I baffle them with my bull.” That’s the quote and no one seems clear on to whom we should attribute it.

As I’m reading the heavy and lofty Constitutions, Conventions, and Mandates establishing these bulwarks (WTO, WIPO, the UN, NATO, etc.), I see it – greatness. They were created and established for greatness. Through absolutely no fault of their own, unless you consider the members themselves at fault, these organizations are baffled by the bull these days.

I have no idea how to get them to focus on my little shoe. But, I know this…they can focus on my little ballet flat now or they’ll have to focus on a cowboy boot the size of Asia later.

I don’t want to #StandWith anymore

Common threads amongst the aggressors include feelings of anger, ostracism, discrimination, pain. We should have no question, we now know for sure – these feelings can lead some to despair and even acts of violence. One week later and this world has another #StandWith. What are we doing to each other?
Obama said he feels his words are inadequate. Well, I am one person and not POTUS. I do not know how we fix these issues and my words are definitely inadequate (by the way, his weren’t…best speech I’ve heard in a long time). I’m gonna give it a whirl anyway.
Could we start with basic awareness (including rational thought/reaction) and compassion toward our fellow brothers and sisters as a large part of our collective action?
I have gone back to Alex (Parkland surgeon and DPD officer)’s words so many times in the past week: “we are all pink on the inside.” Yes and we all bleed when we are injured. Both the victims AND the people who hurt them. Actual blood that will lead to the end of a life in too many cases. Is it worth it?
There will always be bloodshed. Today, we bleed with Nice. Last Friday with Dallas. What city gets the next hashtag? With which city will we #StandWith when the sun breaks next Friday morning?
Perhaps it’s a small step in the minds of many, and that’s fine with me. Why don’t we all commit to basic awareness (/rational thought) about how our daily actions (and words) affect those around us? Why don’t we balance that rational thought with a rather heavy dose of compassion for humanity? A politician preaching segregation or exclusion of a group of people will not lead to “more safety” for you. Neither will huge arsenals of weapons. We know this from our collective history.
There is little else to try, so maybe try this. Why don’t you start today – be the change you wish to see in your neighbors, enemies, politicians? You show them what you want from this world. Invite. Include. Incorporate. Make certain that you do not fall victim to prejudice, fear, or propaganda. Use your knowledge of history, your belief in the goodness of the majority of humanity.
Maybe we wouldn’t need #StandWith anymore.

Important Lessons from a Swiss juridique Konferenz

September 11th and 12th found me sitting in a breathtakingly gorgeous room in St. Gallen, Switzerland attending a legal conference the presentations of which were in two languages which were both foreign to me a mere 6 years ago.

Yep. Same girl that wrote that book you all love. Now, I’m attending legal conferences. Go figure.

Regardless of my green status, I held my own.

Well, maybe not on day one. My brain didn’t trust itself. I translated everything that was said into English and wrote my notes in English, as well. I left with chicken scratch about most of the presentations (thankfully not the one given by my new professor, who was amazing and thankfully did not speak at the speed of a Texas bullet) and a gigantic headache.

I wasn’t sure if there was a point in attending day two. At three o’clock that morning, it hit me – let go. Listen to the words and write your notes in German.

I tried it and it worked. Thank God because one of the presentations yesterday changed the way I will approach my thesis (if it gets approved). Thanks to the Swiss guy who sounds like he’s from Luzern, but is actually from Solothurn/Cambridge, Mass…go mighty Crimson…moving on.

Swiss people do something by nature that continues to astonish me. They easily flow from one language to another. They can, and do, seemingly seamlessly answer a question posed in French with an answer formulated in German (and vis versa). Above that rests a familiarity and comfort with English that blows my mind given how complex this language is (for example, I can say, “The money I had had had had little worth in the end,” and this sentence is a perfectly acceptable sentence utilizing double past perfect. It’s also a perfectly acceptable reason to drink Vodka shots. Moving on…). Anyway, the ease of linguistics was my first lesson this weekend: keep my languages (specifically words and thoughts) flexible.

The second lesson was something I’ve seen in both conferences this summer (the other being the remarkable conference on Internet Jurisdiction, hosted by the University of Geneva in June). The Swiss rarely dig their heels in and, instead, will find a way to say “perhaps, I’m not sure, it’s possible that, well have you considered” in the most flowery way and end it with “you might be wrong?” We all will be at one point and time! Second lesson: keep my “feet” nimble and ready to move. Not easy for a Texas girl, no matter how liberal she has always been.

What I’m learning about these two particular “Swiss” approaches is how crucial both are to moving forward. We can no longer (especially in the area of law in the digital age) continue to sit still, review data, and “write legislation.” The majority of legislation in this field, for the foreseeable future, has the lifespan of a fruit fly. It needs almost constant reworking, rewording, amending, reviewing, re-creating, etc. The moment after it is accepted as law and applied, chances are good it will already be obsolete or facing obscurity. Let me put it this way for all you Torah/Bible folks out there:

Each of us owns a tablet, but the age of stone tablets is over.

Don’t dig my heels in. Stay agile. It’s common for me to be dewy-eyed and optimistic, but I remain optimistic about my thesis and what it might add to the landscape. I learned many things this weekend that will help me a great deal.

This country continues to teach me life lessons.

Unrealistic Expectations – I’m talking to all of us – the Liberals

The Pope is Catholic. He is going to be anti-abortion. Posting on FB, “I don’t know why he doesn’t just get with the times” or “Who does he think he is…God?” is ridiculous. He’s the Pope.

When someone identifies as, “I’m conservative in all ways,” chances are good that guy or gal is going to be vehemently anti- uh…- many things. I’m always glad to hear that because, well, then I know. I’m not disgusted or pissed off or anything. I just know. That’s how he/she sees him/herself. Period.

What shocks me is why we, I’m talking to the liberals, expect something different? For example, the Pope. We expect the Pope to be a flaming liberal overnight because…? I think he’s fairly transparent, right? Though he is, in my opinion, following the steps of Christ more than I’ve seen in any other Pope, is he going to be hosting a Global Dance Party in Support of Gay Adoption soon? Probably not. Am I expecting him to? Absolutely not. Though, I would LOVE that party. Moving on…

When did we forget “liberal” implies an “open mind” and why do we think we need to change someone who is being transparent? It’s not the transparent ones that need to change – it’s the hypocrites. The liars. These are the people that need a good whack with the truth ruler. With the transparent folks, you know the deal: you take the deal or you don’t. Me? I don’t take it.

Lately, the liberals are becoming like the conservatives and I think it’s due in large part to the 2-party system. We are set up  the moment we are indoctrinated into the “Republicans and Democrats” system to believe there is our way and the other team’s way. Because I’m liberal, it means my beliefs are always right. Wrong. Plenty of my conservative friends and family members have legitimate reasons (I’m not talking about the bats*** crazy ones) for defending certain extreme (in my opinion) beliefs. That’s fine by me because their beliefs have nothing to do with me, even when they affect me as a woman. There are plenty of people out there, in 2015, who believe I am no longer a “delicate flower” that needs to give my little woman’s brain a break from 1-3PM. That’s why my FB friends list looks still looks like a unicorn whizzed rainbows all over it.

Go with me here and this is only my experience (please don’t write me telling me that one time you knew a Swiss guy who voted only SVP).

Switzerland has roughly 28 parties. 28. There is a PARTY for Pirate Protection,  two Communist PARTIES, and a PARTY that wants to protect the little four-legged folks. The Swiss don’t have this American/British “there is only one way and it’s my way” due in large part to the spectrum. Growing up Swiss means you don’t have black and white. You have 28 versions of grey and every canton has an additional version of those 28 versions. The politicians, religious leaders, etc. are transparent and the Swiss find this normal and not worthy of their ire, even when they vehemently disagree with the viewpoint. If the Swiss don’t like the XYZ party’s initiative, they simply…don’t vote for them. In general, they don’t raise holy hell, they don’t post 80 things on FB (maybe 4 is the most I’ve seen from one guy on Twitter). They simply use their feet to show their disagreement.

In this privileged First World in which we live, it’s too bad. See, we set ourselves up when we limit our beliefs to this party (conservative) or that party (liberal). We will travel one road and anyone on another road is “wrong” or “infringing on my beliefs.” Is that true at times? Yes. What’s to do? Not sure…start a new road? Join someone else’s road? Don’t be Catholic. Don’t be Episcopal or don’t live in Dallas county. Don’t be FB friends with Joe the Plumber. Or…there are lots of options.

Think I’m being dismissive? Au contraire mon frère.

“Dallas” didn’t work for me. I didn’t need to change Dallas nor did I need Dallas to “evolve” to meet my expectations (think of how arrogant that sounds?). No, I needed to find a place that worked. For me. I moved across an ocean to find a place that felt better (most of the time) and where I fit a bit better (most of the time). It was not easy and I wish Dallas had been more in line with what I needed, who I was, etc. But, it wasn’t.

Dallas was transparent and I wasn’t buying it. So, I went somewhere else. And…God…it was the best (/hardest) path I’ve ever been on.